Amidst the outrage around the world against Saudi Arabia for executing a Shiite cleric with 46 other prisoners, Iranians petrol bombed the Saudi embassy in Tehran during their protest
Tehran: Iranians protesting against the execution of a Shia leader by Saudi Arabia set parts of the Saudi consulate on fire in Iran's northeastern city of Mashhad on early Sunday morning.
The move came after the Saudi Interior Ministry announced on Saturday that 47 people, including the prominent Shia leader Nimr al-Nimr, were executed on terrorism charges.
The protesters gathered in front of the Saudi consulate and chanted slogans against the Arab state's authorities.
They pulled down the flag of Saudi Arabia from the building of the consulate and threw handmade crackers, which caused fire in the building.
Iranian protesters set the Saudi Embassy in Tehran on fire early Sunday morning. The protesters pulled down the flag of Saudi Arabia from the consulate building and threw handmade crackers. Pics/AFP
At least 44 people were arrested late Saturday night for storming the diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad. The embassy in Iraq is located in the fortified part of central Baghdad known as the "Green Zone", which is home to most key institutions and embassies.
Ambassador Thamer al-Sabhan, who arrived in the country four days ago, posted a message on social media in which he said they are being "looked after by the Iraqi government".
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the execution. He said Saudi Arabia will face "divine revenge" for executing the Shiite cleric.
Iran's president also condemned the executions, but also denounced attacks on the Sunni kingdom's embassy and consulate as "totally unjustifiable". He said, "I call on the interior minister to identify the perpetrators and introduce them to the judiciary."
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry
Iran's regime has no shame as it rants on human rights matters, even after it executed hundreds of Iranians last year without a clear legal basis.
Iran’s supreme leader
Saudi Arabia will face divine revenge. His death (Nimr) was a political mistake by the Saudi government, which will haunt its politicians. The unjustly spilt blood of this martyr will have quick consequences.
Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran are locked in a bitter rivalry, and support opposite sides in the wars in Syria and Yemen. Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorism in part because it backs Syrian rebel groups, while Riyadh points to Iran's support for the Lebanese Hezbollah and other Shiite militant groups in the region.
UN chief 'deeply dismayed'
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply dismayed” by Saudi Arabia's execution of 47 people including a prominent Shiite cleric.
Ban Ki-moon UN chief
Deploring the violence outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran, he called for “calm and restraint” and urged “all regional leaders to work to avoid the exacerbation of sectarian tensions.”